Jay March2011

Jay Frucci, President and Owner,
Furniture Consignment Gallery

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Add FCG To Boston's List of Spectacular Sights

 

 

"Wow!" my sister-in-law said breathlessly. "Amazing!" Her husband was just as awestruck. "Unbelievable," he kept muttering to himself, shaking his head. "Just unbelievable."   

 empty house

They were visiting from Cincinnati, and we'd put together an action-packed schedule of the best of summertime Boston, including the beach, some golf, the Duckboats, a tour of Fenway Park, pizza and pastry in the North End and a visit to Harvard Yard.

 

What really sparked their excitement, though, was the sight of our showroom in Hanover, chock full of extraordinary furniture at bargain prices. The two had just moved into a new home in Cincinnati. They needed furniture. So seeing the sights of Boston was actually secondary to the real mission: shopping at Furniture Consignment Gallery.

 

Over the course of the week, my sister-in-law and her husband found the furniture of their dreams in our showrooms. A gleaming mahogany china cabinet by Baker.  A Hickory White inlaid sideboard. An entire living room set by Mitchell Gold. In all, the two got about $50,000 worth of nearly new furniture for less than $15,000.

 

Mission accomplished! While enjoying a week in one of the nation's most beautiful cities, my in-laws furnished their house for a fraction of what they would have paid at a new furniture showroom in Cincinnati.   

 

Tomorrow, we'll load their furniture onto a rental truck. My father-in-law and my oldest son will drive it back to Cincinnati. And that's probably the best part of this whole adventure. A grandfather-grandson road trip. 900 miles.  Four states. A cooler full of snacks. Music on the radio. Time to talk. Priceless.    Jay Frucci is President and Owner of Furniture Consignment Gallery and http://www.furnitureconsignment.com/. Read, Respond and Stay Tuned!

Turn Your Wheel into our Parking Lot

 

 

drivers ed carWhen I was 16, I started driver's ed with a bang. I brought a cocky confidence to my first lesson. "Back out of the parking spot slowly and carefully," the instructor said after I slid behind the wheel and buckled up. I jammed the car in gear, turned around to make sure I wasn't going to run over anyone, and then I hit the gas.

 

The car leaped forward before screeching to a halt. My neck snapped and my heart skipped a beat. "Good thing I have a brake on my side," the instructor said drily. "Next time, Jay, put the car in reverse if you want to back up."

 

Screeching brakes have been on my mind this week. Cade, my oldest son, is about to get his driver's permit. I intend to give him a few lessons myself before we sign him up for driver's ed. After all, it's a rite of passage, a kind of parental EKG, to see if your heart is strong enough to handle the trials of your offspring's adolescence.   

 

Fortunately, we have a couple of good places to practice: our stores' parking lots. In a couple of weeks, I'm planning on taking him down to Plymouth - after hours, of course, when the place has cleared out and there's nothing much to damage but my nerves.  

 

I hope he doesn't burn too much rubber when he makes those skid marks. In any case, the evidence won't be there long. We're planning on sealcoating and painting new stripes on that parking lot in the next week or two. That means we'll have to close the store for a day. We'll post a notice in the store and on the website so you'll know when that'll happen.

 

We'll steer clear of the store as we're making our slow and careful circles. We've got plenty of inventory inside and I'd rather not have skidmarks in the showroom.

Jay Frucci is President and Owner of Furniture Consignment Gallery and http://www.furnitureconsignment.com/. Read, Respond and Stay Tuned!

Beds Made

 

 

triple bunksWe always fought over the top bunk. In fact, I usually started the fight. I was the oldest of the three boys in my family. So my dibs meant the top bunk was somehow more desirable than the bottom. In reality, I didn't want the top bunk. Too hot up there. But conceding it to my brother gave me the imperial mantle of peacekeeper. And then, of course, he owed me one.  

 

The bunks were in our camp on Lake Ossipee in New Hampshire. My parents wanted a place where their sons could run wild in the summers. My dad wasn't about to spend his hard-earned money on furniture for three rambunctious boys who were barely housebroken. So he made those beds.  

 

Frucci men, by nature, are not exactly patient or exacting craftsmen. My dad picked up a couple of pine boards at the lumberyard, shoved them through a circular saw and drilled a couple of holes for bolts. It probably took all of an hour.

 

"File these," he said and without any more instruction he handed the boards off to me. I took a metal file to the rough edges. Then we stained the wood and assembled the beds. Voila! We boys had something infinitely valuable to fight over for year to come.  

 

I slept well in that bunk. I laughed a lot with my brothers. We raised all kinds of Cain. I remember the cool lake breeze and the water lapping against the rocks. When my parents sold that camp years later, the new owners insisted on keeping those rough-hewn beds. Probably knew there was good kid magic in those old bunks.

 

Among the many things I learned from that experience was that furniture has to be functional. People needed a place to eat, sit, work and sleep. Our bunks were sturdy, safe and, best of all from my dad's point of view, cheap.

 

If you're looking for bunks - or any kind of kid furniture built to survive major shenanigans - skip the lumberyard. Stop by one of our three showrooms. You will find the good stuff, made well, at the best prices at Furniture Consignment Gallery.

Jay Frucci is President and Owner of Furniture Consignment Gallery and http://www.furnitureconsignment.com/. Read, Respond and Stay Tuned!

New Adventurer is Traveling Light

 

 


She was stunned. She was just putting the finishing touches on a redecorating project. Window sheers had been ordered but hadn't been installed. And now she was packing up and moving.

Only a few weeks ago, someone had lobbed an unsolicited offer to buy her home for a price she couldn't resist. The house had been a sanctuary after a hard divorce. She loved the long gated driveway and the peaceful gardens. Her three girls had lived like princesses there, riding a social merry-go-round through childhood and adolescence.

car cartoon 78059662

The girls left for college. Now, the brick mansion seemed to echo with loneliness. Selling hadn't been on her to-do list this spring, but the unexpected offer held out the happy promise of a new adventure.  

So she called Furniture Consignment Gallery. 

Mitchell Gold had just delivered a living room set. She admitted I was the first to ever sit on the sofa. That, too, went into our truck.Within days, we were at the house filling our truck with treasures including an EJ Victor china cabinet and an extraordinary console table by Dessin Fournir.

I asked where was she going. She said she had a temporary apartment, but no firm plans. "Where do you think I would like to live?" she asked. Our moving guys started tossing out ideas: Hingham, Duxbury, Marblehead, Manchester-by-the-Sea.

"When you guys are finished," she mused, "I think I'll go for a drive." She's traveling light. No baggage. That's the best way to start an adventure.

Jay Frucci is President and Owner of Furniture Consignment Gallery and http://www.furnitureconsignment.com/. Read, Respond and Stay Tuned!

Designer Wasteland: It's Not All Wasted

 

 

"Oh, no!"img 8319 One of our best customers, an interior designer, was in mid-conversation with a staffer when she caught sight of a new sectional across the showroom. "Impossible!" she exclaimed, striding over to examine the piece. "I simply don't believe it."   

 

Turns out, she had a history with this particular piece of furniture. Six months ago, she had been working for a couple that had been - hmmm, how to put this nicely? - very challenging clients. They bickered so much during the design process that she felt like more of a referee than a designer.

 

What really broke her spirit, she confessed, was selecting their sectional. Last winter, the trio trekked through the snow to all the furniture showrooms in and around Boston. Every couch she suggested they dismissed as too soft, too firm, too stiff, or too sloppy.

 

Eventually, they agreed on a style. That's when picking the fabric became the new nightmare. They spent endless hours poring over swatches. Finally, the couple settled on a custom tight-back sectional with a chaise and the designer placed the order.  

 

Sixteen weeks later, and a dozen or more anxious client phone calls to the designer, the sectional was delivered. The couple had a rare moment of miserable agreement - they just didn't like it. Without telling their designer, they shipped it off quietly to FCG.

 

So here it was sitting in our showroom. The sectional was spotless, stylish, and well crafted with vivid colors.  Its price tag was a fraction of what the couple had paid only a few weeks earlier. The designer ran her hand over the fabric. "What a waste," she said sadly.  

 

Shortly after she left, a family of six wandered in. Catching sight of the sectional, the teens raced across the showroom and leaped on it joyfully. "Can we get it?" they begged their parents. "It's awesome!"

 

I wish the dejected designer had stayed long enough to see how much this family loved the sectional. All her work and talent were finally being appreciated. I thought it was proof of the old adage: beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Happy people can find it pretty much anywhere.

Jay Frucci is President and Owner of Furniture Consignment Gallery and http://www.furnitureconsignment.com/. Read, Respond and Stay Tuned!

My Vote Goes to Concord

 

 

concord by barberEleanor Roosevelt once declared Main Street in Hingham to be the loveliest street in America. Now, I don't want to detonate a firestorm of civic pride here. Wellesley, Weston, Salem and Gloucester, I'll concede you've got your charms. But I beg to disagree with the First Lady. My vote goes to Concord.

 

Rich in political and literary history, Concord is a quintessential New England village, serene and timeless. Louisa May Alcott wrote "Little Women" here. Thoreau fled to its woods to chop wood and pen his famous epistle, "Walden." The town is graced with proud homes, elegant gardens, lush lawns, simple churches, cozy taverns and dark ponds.  

 

That is why I was so excited last week visiting a beautiful historic home in the center of town. Built in1884, this three-story 7,000-square-foot brick home has four chimneys and a barn out back. Originally built as a summer home for his family by a wealthy merchant in Boston, the house has been lovingly preserved and renovated many times in the last century. Its current owner is selling the house - and has offered its furniture to FCG. 

 

Our moving crew worked tirelessly, filling our truck with custom furniture designed just for this extraordinary home. The list of items is long: gold damask sofas by Baker, occasional chairs by Lillian August, a pristine mahogany dining set by Kindle, a drop-leaf table in gleaming bird's eye maple, leather chairs and sofas.

 

Concord's favorite son Thoreau urged us to seize the day, breathe the spring air, taste the new fruit - and, he would have added, appreciate the workmanship of our nation's top craftsmen. Our Hanover store is chockfull of amazing furniture pieces from this grand home. Come in and take a look. I promise you'll be as thrilled as I am.

Jay Frucci is President and Owner of Furniture Consignment Gallery and http://www.furnitureconsignment.com/. Read, Respond and Stay Tuned!

A Party for The Ages

 

 

48d0abb0dcdfd512c105c36e0cf67cae"Hey, Jay!" one of the other dads hollered at me from the other side of the ballpark as our sons were finishing up soccer practice. "Looking forward to the party!" I nodded, grinned and waved back at the guy trying not to look totally confused. "Party?" I thought. "What party?"   

 

Ten minutes later, I found out. Parked in my driveway was a truck. Two men were hauling a massive inflatable bouncing house into my backyard. Yes, we apparently were having a party. Robbie, our youngest, was turning seven. His buddies were coming to our house to celebrate. All of them.

 

Inviting 20 seven-year-old boys to a backyard birthday party is sheer lunacy. There are no carrot sticks on the menu, just pure sugar bombs. Add an arsenal of plastic weaponry and you've got an incendiary mix. You'd have less damage from a horde of Mongols.

 

Other parents - that is, the ones who value their homes - outsource these kinds of events. They rent an indestructible party palace for the afternoon. That's so the joint can be hosed down and, if necessary, rebuilt after the party. 

 

Whose idea was this wingding anyway? Diana, my wife, looked remarkably cheerful for someone about to be overrun by munchkins with inflatable pickaxes. "Jay," she insisted. "It'll be fun!"  

 

What actually happened was two hours of utter mayhem.  Like an invading force of troop carriers, SUVs pulled up in front of our house at precisely 4 p.m. Out spilled an army of howling kids. The party instantly devolved into a battle scene. Their parents stood at the perimeter - wine and beer in hand - watching in shock.

 

Robbie's older brother, Cade, had been enlisted as a kind of bouncer to keep the peace. At 15, he is six feet tall and 190 pounds, but he was no match for a swarm of seven-year-olds. They attacked and beat him into submission with their axes. I could hear muffled cries for help, but I wasn't about to risk the fury of the mob.

 

Considering the battlefield wounds, we probably should have had a MASH Unit. One boy ran up to his mom with blood running down his lip. "Mom," he said breathlessly. "Can you hold my tooth?" He dropped the tiny pearl into her hand and raced back into action.

  

When the party was over, I surveyed the yard and tallied the damage. They came, they ate, they conquered. One tooth was extracted. A lawn chair had been twisted into a pretzel. The flowerbeds were shredded. No casualties. All in all, according to Robbie, it was a pretty good party. Would have been better if Cade had suffered a little more, but overall -- pretty good.Jay Frucci is President and Owner of Furniture Consignment Gallery and http://www.furnitureconsignment.com/. Read, Respond and Stay Tuned!

Bargain Driver Puts Us to The Test

 

 

fist full of money clip art 22967Over the course of the week, she just about drove me crazy. She'd found an inlaid mahogany game table in our Hanover store that she thought would be perfect for her condo in Back Bay. The table was exquisite - and a bargain. Still, she wanted to haggle.

 

"Call the consignor!" she insisted after I demurred on a discount. "Ask them to drop the price by $30." Her offer was rejected. Undeterred, she pressed for $20 off - rejected again - then $10. In the middle of the negotiating ping-pong, I found myself wondering: is she seriously going to ask for a discount of $1?   

 

Finally, with a sigh, she agreed to the price. Then, she got a second wind. She'd observed a tiny scratch no bigger than a hair on one leg. Could we touch it up? And then buff the piece with furniture polish? Swaddle it carefully in bubble wrap? And have it ready for pick up in an hour?

 

At Furniture Consignment Gallery, we pride ourselves on extraordinary furniture, unbeatable prices and excellent customers service. Every now and then, someone comes along and puts us to the test. That's what happened last week. And I'm pleased to say we passed with flying colors.

 

Precisely an hour after her call, a car peeled into the parking lot. Out leaped the woman's husband, looking a little sheepish. As one of our staffers carried the table carefully to the car, he approached me cautiously. "How bad did she beat you up on the price?" he asked.      

 

I burst out laughing. "We couldn't do anything on the price," I admitted, "but we jumped through a dozen hoops to get it ready for you this afternoon." 

 

"She drives a hard bargain," he admitted. More like a blood sport, I thought. "But," he added in a confidential tone, "she really, really loves your store. Thanks for making her happy. We'll be back for more - you can count on it." 

 

Keeping even the toughest customers satisfied - and coming back again and again - is our goal at FCG. So stop by one of our three stores this weekend. Our furniture makes shopping here worth your while. Our dedicated staffers make it a great experience.
Jay Frucci is President and Owner of Furniture Consignment Gallery and http://www.furnitureconsignment.com/. Read, Respond and Stay Tuned!

Spring Sales Have Sellers Moving Fast

 

 

husbandsShe exhaled a string of expletives into the phone. Thankfully, I wasn't the target. The culprit was her husband. With only one week to go before the family was moving into a grand new house, he'd called and scheduled my guys to strip the house of every stick of furniture.  

 

His plan was to sell just about everything at FCG, and redecorate in a style that trumpeted his recent success in the corporate world. He demanded we strip the place of furniture ASAP. The closing on the new house was in one week. His plan was timely, organized and efficient.

 

Trouble is, his plan lacked support on the domestic front.  His wife had a different plan. Hers was to fret, fume and procrastinate. She liked their old house, the old neighborhood - and the furniture. "Absolutely not," she said when I called to say our truck would be pulling into the driveway in an hour.

 

She hadn't packed a single box. Every dresser in the house was stuffed with clothing, she said. The wedding china was still on display in the cabinet in the dining room. Empty the house of furniture? "I'm just not ready!" she exclaimed. "Can't we reschedule?"

 

We were caught between husband and wife. And let me tell you, that is not a pleasant place to be. Especially when you're dealing with a high-testosterone husband and a wife skilled in guerrilla warfare.

 

Spring's busy moving season can be challenging - for our customers and for FCG. Our homes and furniture are loaded with meaning and memories.  Add an ounce of conflict to the stress of a move and the entire situation becomes highly combustible.   

 

At FCG, we try to be sensitive. We scrutinized our jam-packed schedule and managed to give the woman a few more days to pack. When we arrived, we moved quickly and quietly. We took it all, leaving only the mattresses on the floor. Our last item: the expensive leather chair from his home office. When we left, the two were in a state of shock.

 

After a few years of a listless real estate market, deals are moving faster than sellers can think. If you are ready to sell, consult with FCG as soon as you list your home. You may need us sooner than you think.Jay Frucci is President and Owner of Furniture Consignment Gallery and http://www.furnitureconsignment.com/. Read, Respond and Stay Tuned!

Kentucky Derby- Appreciating Martha On Race Day

 

 

muybridgeHarrodsburg, Kentucky is a sleepy town of about 9,000, except for certain times of year when the place is seized with a peculiar sports mania. That would be the winter college basketball season and the eve of the Kentucky Derby.

 

Some of the best gossip in town could be gotten at the Davis Beauty Shop. Martha Davis, the owner, was married to the basketball coach of Harrodsburg High School in Mercer County. He had a hotline to Coach Adolf Rupp of the University of Kentucky, one of the most successful coaches in the history of American college basketball.

 

So the women of the bluegrass would make their weekly pilgrimages to see Martha - with the full encouragement of their husbands. That's because the women would come home not only freshly coiffed but also fully stocked with hot tips for their husbands on horses and basketball.    

 

Now 95, Martha hasn't wielded a curling iron for a while now but she's still as elegant and indomitable as she was in her prime. Last year, she downsized and sold the classic belle of a mansion she and her husband, Coach Davis, had owned on Harrodsburg's Main Street.

 

Diana, my wife, was fortunate to get some of the beautiful furniture that graced her grandmother's home. So was Furniture Consignment Gallery. Martha entrusted us to sell some of her favorite pieces, among them an Empire chest and an antique pine rope bed.     

 

Selling furniture with a story - that's what makes the consignment business so much fun. Stop by one of our showrooms today. It's Derby Day. Martha, or as we know her, Nana sends her regards.Jay Frucci is President and Owner of Furniture Consignment Gallery and http://www.furnitureconsignment.com/. Read, Respond and Stay Tuned!
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